A FORMER Isle of Wight man went on a mainland knifepoint robbery spree, after he stole £3,000 cash from a Shanklin hotel and gold chains from a jewellers' shop in the town, has been jailed for six years.

Anthony Martin was imprisoned at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday), after Judge Nicholas Rowland heard about the 14 offences Martin admitted to.

They included two robberies and attempted robberies, four charges of possessing a bladed article, theft by an employee, two counts of assaulting police officers and two of shop theft.  

The offences last year began on the Isle of Wight and continued in Havant, Portsmouth and Eastleigh, over six months.

Isle of Wight County Press: Anthony Martin was jailed for six years.Anthony Martin was jailed for six years. (Image: Hampshire Constabulary)

On May 1, while employed at the Shanklin Beach Hotel as a night porter, Martin was caught on CCTV making visits to the office safe — removing sums of cash totalling £3,000, said Peter Asteris, prosecuting.

"He was in a high degree of trust — left with the master key and effectively running the hotel himself," said Mr Asteris.

After the theft came to light, having reviewed CCTV, the owner confronted Martin.

Martin admitted what he did — but was given an opportunity to hand himself in, which he never did.

When arrested, Martin said he stole the money for crack cocaine and heroin.

On June 1, Martin entered Island Jewellers and asked to view gold chains worth £2,800.

He grabbed them and left — cycling off at speed.

The 43-year-old, of Beach Road, Southsea, was identified from shop CCTV.

On July 6, Martin looked at engagement rings, worth £5,040, at a jewellers in Havant, and ran off with them.

Martin then went on a spree of robbery, armed with knives in October — chiefly targeting CEX stores — all caught on CCTV.

At CEX in Havant, Martin — disguised by a mask, sunglasses and hoodie — brandished a knife and told the assistant to give him money, warning her not to yell or scream.

He was refused and left with nothing.

Martin then targeted CEX in Portsmouth, making off with £1,500.

Both incidents happened on October 19. Five days later, Martin robbed a CEX in Eastleigh of £430.

A short time later, Martin entered a Co-op, frightening a part-time assistant with a knife, demanding she open the till and give him cash.

Following his arrest, Martin attacked two police officers at Southampton Police Station, after they found pills hidden behind his testicles.

Martin had a previous criminal record of 39 convictions for 89 offences. 

For Martin, Richard Onslow said his client went on a "progressive downward spiral" to fund his drugs habit.